Using the idea of a crowdfunding user network to grow businesses, one startup is taking the search for funding to the local level.
Founded by two Harvard Business School students, Broderick McClinton and Eric Sonnier, Equity Endeavor is city-specific, rewards-based crowdfunding platform that has targeted both Austin and New Orleans as pilot cities. The founders said they chose New Orleans because of its high rate of entrepreneurial activity, the city’s connectedness among the community, and their personal connections to the city.
To launch, Equity Endeavor is seeking five companies to sign up in each city. Quality over quantity is key for Equity Endeavor, according to McClinton.
Equity Endeavor targets businesses seeking $5,000 to $40,000 for strategic growth. The basic idea is that business owners often want to expand into new neighborhoods, offer enhanced products or services, create a better experience for customers, and raise brand awareness. Equity Endeavor is a cost-effective way for business owners to raise funds outside of the traditional equity and lending types of financing.
Equity Endeavor is an all or nothing platform. No cash is exchanged if the funding goal is not reached. McClinton and Sonnier urge business owners and entrepreneurs to think realistically about their funding goals and to be thoughtful in their approach to raising funds. Whether it’s a 30 or 60-day campaign, Equity Endeavor will push people to the site to get the funding goals of small businesses and entrepreneurs met.
The platform is designed with two important aspects in mind: customer affinity and rewards. Customers should feel an affinity towards the business, which is why it’s city-specific. The local communities in both Austin and New Orleans care about the small and local businesses. Secondly, campaign contributors will be lured by carefully constructed rewards that Equity Endeavor will help with.
Equity Endeavor is actively searching for a select group of New Orleans businesses to partner with for the August launch. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.